A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: St. Joseph’s Jimmy Giannetta

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Monday, March 27, 2023 | 10:13 AM


The end of a sports season for underclassmen marks a time of reflection and preparation, but for seniors, it marks the end of an era.

For St. Joseph senior Jimmy Giannetta, there’s a lot to look back on, especially because he was one of the top scorers in the WPIAL this season.

“It truly is a blessing to have my name up there with so many great players,” Giannetta said. “I would like to thank my teammates for helping me through that. I played against a lot of great players, and the list is filled with so many amazing players. But it truly is a blessing to be a part of it, and I am thankful for that.”

Jimmy is the son of Leslie and Jim Giannetta. He is a member of the highest honor roll and was named first-team all conference, set a school record for assists in a season and was nominated for the WPIAL Sportsman Award. He also is committed to continue playing at Carlow this fall to major in business. He has been playing basketball for about 10 years.

“I started playing seriously around seventh or eighth grade,” Giannetta said. “I chose it because when I was younger, my brother, who is two years older than me, played when he was in third grade, and I tried shooting for the first time as a first grader and I fell in love with it. I never get tired of it.”

Giannetta took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down to answer some questions for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

What do you believe were some of the highs and lows from the regular season?

Some of the highs are that we started off the season 4-0, and we made history. We haven’t done that in 15 years. We had a really great start. Some of the lows are that we went on a six-game losing streak and couldn’t bounce back. We played tough teams that had tough players, and, ultimately, it was a tough section. But we were able to come back together and have a successful season.

What part of the game, in your opinion, allowed you to be such a great scorer?

I’d say confidence. Everyone needs it, even the ones that put so much work into their sport. If you don’t have it, then the work you put in doesn’t matter. You have to be able to shoot confidently in order to play your best.

What are some advantages and disadvantages of playing in Class A?

Some advantages are that I can work on my personal game and find my true basketball self with full confidence. I transferred from Central Catholic, who played in Class 6A, so that was a huge step. Going to Single-A helped me find myself and put me on the collegiate level. It also allowed me to be a leader on the team as captain. Some disadvantages are that the competition isn’t always the best, and some players are there to play for fun, which is OK. Even though those things are sometimes the case, there are plenty of great teams and players in the section.

What is the most points that you’ve scored in a game at any level?

The most I’ve scored in a game is 40 points. I did it two times, once my junior year and once my senior year.

You transferred into St. Joseph’s. What was the transfer like for you?

It was a pleasure to play for Central Catholic as the atmosphere and coaching staff were great. I really enjoyed the time I played there. The transition was a great experience. I was welcomed in by coach Hart (Coleman), and my teammates liked me from the start and accepted me. It was a very good transition, and I am thankful for it.

Tell me a little bit about your fellow seniors on the team and how you all worked together on the court.

There were four seniors: Quinn (Stefaniak), Damian (Moore), Ethan (Zale) and I. Quinn is an emotional player, and he left everything on the court. He was hitting the ground five to six times getting loose balls. Damian was the big guy and the main point of assists. I got the ball to him a lot to make layups. And Ethan was the swing guy. If I was in trouble, I went to him. He was the second-leading scorer on the team, and I trust him with the ball.

You played against the all-time WPIAL leading scorer Vinnie Cugini twice this season. What was that like?

It was a really cool moment to play against the nation’s leading scorer. We go way back. We played AAU together in fifth grade, and we played roundball in eighth grade. We grew up playing against each other and with each other. We have a great relationship and bond, and it is always great to play against him. I am so happy for him and his commitment. He is a great guy and friend, and I am always there to support him.

What is your favorite memory from St. Joseph basketball?

I’d say the bus rides to away games or going out to eat before or after the game. Also, I loved getting up for 8 a.m. practices. People may disagree with that, but I got to play with the team and run hard early in the morning.

What was the recruitment process like for you?

I started last year in February as I started to get interest and offers. I had a big AAU season with a lot of D-II interest and a bunch of D-III offers. In the end, I had a great relationship with coach (Tim) Keefer, and I love the area Carlow is in. I get to stay closer to home and play in front of my family. The team also fits the playing style of mine and was a great fit for me.

What do you expect to come out of collegiate basketball?

I expect to come out learning a lot more than I did when I first started as well as knowing the ins and outs of collegiate basketball. I want to learn what I want to do, and I want to play professionally. If it happens, it happens, but if not, there’s always Plan B. I really want to learn more about myself and the game.

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